Comparing the Maxibright Varidrive 720w LED to the LUMii Black 720w LED.
There's no question that LED technology has taken the indoor growing scene by storm in the last few years. They're efficient and effective, but for many people, they're simply just not affordable. Thankfully, all that is now changing; as the market continues to embrace LED, the economies-of-scale and maturation of LED technology means that the cost of manufacturing (and therefore buying) LED grow lights is now lower than ever.
While cheaper grow lights are certainly something to be happy about, it's important to make sure that you're still purchasing a safe and effective light from a reputable brand, with a decent warranty to back it up. It's with this in mind that we'd like to show you what we think are two of the best-value LED grow lights on the UK market right now - the LUMii Black and Maxibright Varidrive 720w LED.
What's the difference?
In short, not much! Power consumption, photon output, efficiency, dimensions, and weight are the same. The only difference in output relates to the colour temperature provided by the specific recipe of diodes. The LUMii provides a much 'warmer', red-heavy spectrum that will be much more familiar to HPS growers and is especially suited to late flower (after stretch) while the Varidrive provides an overall more balanced spectrum, suitable for all stages of growth but also a fantastic choice for flowering as it features additional red diodes to further enhance photosynthesis during flowering/fruiting.
Currently, the LUMii Black 720w LED grow light comes with a 2 year warranty (fixture only), while the Maxibright Varidrive 720w beats that with a 3 year warranty. Considering the price, and taking into account the fact that both of these fixtures are capable of providing excellent yields using around 1/3rd less electricity than HPS, a return on investment can easily be met and exceeded after just a few cycles.
For a closer look at these two LED fixtures, check out this short video showing both of these lights in action.
How do I use these lights?
Because these lights will match or outperform traditional 1000w HPS lamps, they're most suited to 1.5m x 1.5m (5ft x 5ft) areas. Bear in mind that because these lights throw out serious levels of light, you're always better to build your plants up to maximum brightness by using lower-wattage settings until the plants are mature enough to take it on.
Both of these lights can also be effectively utilised in 1.2m x 1.2m (4ft x 4ft) areas, however again, caution should be taken to ensure that too much light isn't provided to your plants (also known as 'light saturation point'). Running either of these lights on full power in this footprint may be possible for the most experienced growers when hung high and used with a combination of intense horticultural techniques (CO2, hydroponics, SCROG netting etc), however for newer growers we would recommend running this light at no more than 600 watts during peak growth stages and allowing for a minimum of 12 inches between the highest canopy point and the lowest point of the light fixture.
Finally, if you're looking to fill a room with multiple lights, you'll get fantastic results with either of these fixtures. Both the Maxibright Varidrive and LUMii Black will provide the same total light output as 1000w HPS but with a 28% reduction in electricity consumption and heat generation. Simply swap 1:1 with your existing 1000w HPS lights, or if you're using 600w HPS systems you can continue to use your current ballasts (also saving around £50 off the cost of each light) and simply swap the fixtures out, giving you around 30% more light in that room or allowing you to remove around 30% of your HPS lights if you want to maintain the same total light.